Chuck Burton/Associated Press
College football media days are often used to discuss roster moves and strategies for the upcoming season, but North Carolina coach Larry Fedora took the opportunity to examine the sport as a whole.
“Our game is under attack,” Fedora said at ACC media days Wednesday. “… I fear that the game will be pushed so far from what we know that we won’t recognize it 10 years from now. And if it does, our country will go down too.”
Like the NFL, college football continues to undergo changes in the name of player safety.
One of the most notable differences this year will come on kickoffs, where a player can call a fair catch anywhere inside the 25-yard line and have it treated as a touchback.
“Because what we’ve seen on touchback plays, plays that result in a touchback, there’s still blocking going on, but the injury rate on kickoffs comes down significantly,” SEC director of officiating Steve Shaw said of the rule change at SEC media days.
The highly debated targeting rule also remains in effect, leading to ejections for illegal hits to the head.
Fedora, meanwhile, also argued that it’s unclear whether football leads to future health problems.
“I don’t think it’s been proven that the game of football causes CTE. We don’t really know that,” he said. “Are there chances for concussions? Of course. There are collisions. But the game is safer than it’s ever been.”
Still, he believes the rule changes are hurting the game and will eventually hurt the United States.
“I think it would be the decline of our country, yes,” he said.